Tigard girls rally to win overtime thriller
ROCK CREEK — It certainly wasn't easy.
It took a clutch 3-point basket at the end of regulation. It then took another clutch 3-pointer in the final seconds of overtime.
But the Tigard High School girls basketball team picked up it first win of the season, rallying to get a 47-46 overtime win over Westview in a non-league game played Tuesday at Westview High School.
"This is very big, because it is our first win of the season," said Tigard senior Delaney Leavitt, who sent the game to overtime with a buzzer-beating 3-point basket at the end of the fourth quarter. "We almost didn't do it. It was a little ugly in the first half of the game, but, in the second half, we really got going."
"This is super big," said Tigard freshman Hailey Shimojima, who sank the game-winning 3-pointer with nine seconds left in overtime. "As a freshman, this first win is pretty cool."
With the loss, Westview, from the Metro League, moved to 1-3 on the season. Tigard, from the Three Rivers League, improved to 1-3 with the victory, the first win for the Tigers' new head coach Mallory Goldammer.
"It's been a little slow. We've got new plays, and new players, and we're trying to get used to each other," Leavitt said. "It's a slow process, but we're getting there."
Westview got off to a strong start to Tuesday's contest. Wildcat sophomore Sydney Kleine opened the scoring with a layup, and Westview junior Afton Keeney followed with five straight points, giving the home team a quick 7-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Tigard missed on its first eight shots from the field. The Tigers did cut the lead to 9-7 when sophomore post Sarah Lamet sank a 3-pointer off a pass from freshman Karen Spadafora, coming with 3 minutes left in the quarter.
But Westview answered with a 3-pointer by sophomore Claryn Keeney and baskets by Afton Keeney and senior Grace Miller, giving the Wildcats a 16-11 lead at the end of the opening period.
Tigard tried to battle back again early in the second quarter. Senior Kennedy Brown opened the period with a basket on a drive to the hoop, and junior Ajae Holdman added back-to-back baskets, tying the game at 17-17 with 5:06 left before halftime.
But, again, Westview responded. The Wildcats got a pair of 3-pointers from senior guard Danielle Llamas and a follow-up basket by Afton Keeney to take a 25-19 lead at the intermission.
Tigard turned up its defensive intensity to start the third quarter, helping force Westview into turnovers in its first five possessions of the period. The Tigers then tied the game again, at 27-27, when Brown sank a 3-pointer from the left corner off a pass from Leavitt.
But the Wildcats wouldn't surrender the lead. Westview got basket from Miller and Afton Keeney to claim a 31-29 lead going into the fourth quarter.
That's when things got really interesting.
Spadafora sank a short-range jumper, coming off a pass from Brown, to open the period and tie the game at 31-31.
Westview answered back again. Llamas connected on a pair of 3-pointers and Afton Keeney added a pair of free throws to give the Wildcats a 39-33 advantage with 2:09 left in regulation.
Tigard, not giving up, cut the lead to 39-36 when Brown sank a 3-pointer off a pass from Leavitt with 1:42 remaining. A free throw by Llamas made the score 40-36 with 51 seconds left to play. Then, following a Tigard turnover, Westview was fouled with 24 seconds left. The ensuing free throw, in a one-and-one bonus situation, hit the rim, and Shimojima grabbed the rebound. That led to a Leavitt 3-pointer, off a pass from Spadafora, making the score 40-39 with 11 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers then immediately fouled Llamas, who would make both of her foul shots, giving Westview a 42-29 advantage with nine seconds left to play. Leavitt, after taking the inbounds pass, drove up the court, cut toward the left side, and then sank a 3-point bank shot with just one second remaining, sending the game to overtime.
"I was trying to get fouled, but I just shot it up there, and that got the momentum going," Leavitt said of the play. "Whatever works."
Westview opened the four-minute overtime session with baskets from sophomore Alison Kantor and Kleine, giving the Wildcats a 46-42 lead with 3:15 remaining.
Tigard cut the lead to 46-44 when Spadafora sank a 14-foot jumper off a pass from Lamet coming with 2:48 left to play. Westview was fouled with 2:48 left to play. The Wildcats missed both free throws, but Afton Keeney grabbed the offensive rebound. Westview then tried to run the clock down, and was successful in doing so, until Shimojima came up with a steal with 43 seconds remaining.
Tigard was then patient at its end of the court looking to do get a good look to tie the game. But Shimojima did better than that. Getting the ball on the outside on the right side of the top of the circle, the freshman launched a 3-point shot that was nothing but net, giving the Tigers their very first lead of the game, at 47-46, with nine seconds to play.
"It was kind of crazy," Shimojima said of the play. "I was open and I just shot it. I was confident. It felt really good."
"Hailey has been stepping up very well," Leavitt said. "She's not playing like a freshman, and we really need her."
Westview got a last-second shot by Claryn Keeney from the left baseline, but it was off the mark, leaving the Tigers with the 47-46 victory.
"The energy and intensity turned it around," Leavitt said. "In the first half, we didn't have any energy. So then, we really got a check at halftime, and we picked it up."
"All the leadership on the bench, and our intensity on defense," Shimojima said of the key to victory.
Brown led the Tigers with 14 points before fouling out with 24 seconds left to play in the fourth quarter. Leavitt added 11 points, all coming in the second half. Lamet had seven points, nine rebounds and two steals. Spadafora scored six points and Shimojima had five.
Tigard, as a team, made 19 of 50 shots from the field, with seven 3-pointers, and two of two free-throw attempts.
"This was super fun," Shimojima said. "The energy at the end was crazy."
Afton Keeney and Llamas each scored 15 points to pace the Wildcats. Kantor added five points.
Westview, as a team, made 16 of 46 shots from the field, with five 3-pointers, and nine of 15 free-throw attempts.
Both teams will be back in action on Friday. Tigard will host Liberty and Westview will play at Sherwood in non-league games starting at 7 p.m.
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